2020 Election Preview and Engaging Members in the Process

2020 Election Preview and Engaging Members in the Process

Sep 14, 2020
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So far, 2020 has been a year like no other. So what does that mean for the November general election? Hear the 2020 election predictions from an experienced political operative, and gain some insight into what those results may mean for business moving forward. Then hear from NAR partner, REAL Strategies, on sure-fire methods to involve your members in upcoming election activities that will engage and energize them, not leaving this election up to chance. 

Moderator: John Sebree, RCE, CEO Missouri REALTORS® 


  • Doug Sosnik, author and political advisor to U.S. presidents, senators, governors, Fortune 100 corporations, foundations and universities for 35 years
  • Justin Allen, Senior Strategic Consultant, REAL Strategies
  • Julienne Uhlich, Senior Strategic Consultant, REAL Strategies


FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2020 11:00 a.m. CST 11:00 a.m. Central Time

JOHN SEBREE: Hello and welcome to another live-streamed Virtual AE Institute education session, “2020 Election Preview and Engaging Members in the Process.” I’m John Sebree, CEO of the Missouri REALTORS® and chair of NAR’s Association Executives Committee. Thank you for joining us today.

It’s my pleasure to introduce our panel to you:

Doug Sosnik: author and political advisor to U.S. presidents, senators, governors, Fortune 100 corporations, foundations and universities for the last 35 years.

Justin Allen: Senior Strategic Consultant, REAL Strategies and former, NAR REALTOR® Party consultant as well as long-time Government Affairs Director for both the Utah and Salt Lake City REALTORS®. Justin has also consulted on political campaigns and served as a local elected official.

And Julienne Uhlich: Senior Strategic Consultant, REAL Strategies, and former NAR Campaign Services Manager, as well as a veteran campaign and grass roots strategist for races all across the country.

A reminder before we get started that all attendees are muted to avoid background noise. Also, in order to give timely replies during this webinar, if you have a question for the participants that needs to be answered in this moment and is pertinent to the discussion, pose that in the CHAT box, please. If you have general questions that don’t require an immediate response or comment, please post those in the Q&A.

Lastly, for better speed and streaming in Zoom, close unnecessary browsers and windows on your computers.

[John kicks it off by starting with Doug and letting the audience know that Doug is unable to participate in the entire webinar due to another commitment. John will ask Doug for a high-level overview of how the various issues/struggles of 2020 are effecting America and the election landscape.]

11:02 a.m. CDT

JOHN SEBREE: Let’s kick things off with Doug Sosnik. And a note to our participants that Doug has another commitment on the heels of this webinar and won’t be with us for the entire 60 minutes. So if you have a question for Doug as he’s sharing his comments, be sure to post it in the CHAT so it’s addressed before he leaves. Doug, over the years, you’ve advised elected officials, large corporations, universities and other organizations on crisis management and communications. Given everything that is happening in 2020, how has social distancing affected how politicians communicate with voters? Have they effectively connected with them despite lack of in-person events? [Following Doug’s reply, John follows up with a series of questions for Doug. Staff will monitor the CHAT throughout this portion so that Doug can address any immediate questions before he has to leave.]

JOHN SEBREE: Thanks Doug. As we all know, 2020 has been a difficult year between the pandemic, social distancing, racial justice and questions about the economy. It’s made for a divisive political climate. How do you see America being affected by all of this? …Are Republican constituents ready for a change? Are they content with the current administration? Will traditional Democrats do what’s needed to elect Biden? [John continues asking Doug the series of questions.]

JOHN SEBREE: Thanks Doug. Can you tell us what the current climate means for down ticket voting? Do you expect to see changes in the state houses and local governments? [Doug responds and John continues to next question.]

JOHN SEBREE: Thanks Doug. You focus a lot on the word “community,” both in your book Applebee’s America: How Successful Political, Business and Religious Leaders Connect with the New American Community, as well as in how you discuss politics, in general. REALTORS® and REALTOR® associations focus a lot on community too! Once the election is over, how can we move forward to create a better sense of community? [Doug responds and John asks next question.]

JOHN SEBREE: Thanks Doug. What effect has political infighting at the national level had on state and local leaders and their governments? [Doug responds and John asks next question.]

JOHN SEBREE: Thanks Doug. Do you think the Progressive movement will have the same effect on democrats as the Tea Party movement had on the republicans? [Doug responds and John asks next question.]

JOHN SEBREE: Thanks Doug. How do you think the pandemic will impact voter turnout? Why do you think mail-in voting vs. absentee voting has become fodder between political parties? [Doug responds and John asks next question.]

JOHN SEBREE: Piggybacking on that and looking ahead to Election Night, what can we expect to see on Election night? And when do you think we’ll have full election results? Do you think more candidates will contest the results than in past years? [Doug responds and John asks next question.]

11:20 a.m. CDT

JOHN SEBREE: And our last question for you before you take off, how do you think the activism that we are seeing in major cities today will play out in terms of voting blocs in the coming months?

11:25 a.m. CDT [Doug responds and John asks staff if there are any question in the CHAT that Doug needs to address before he exits. John thanks Doug and then turns it over to Justin and Julienne, who will discuss the basics of involving members in the election, including GOTV, volunteer opportunities, and tools/services NAR and REAL offer to associations to foster engagement.]

11:30 a.m. CDT

JOHN SEBREE: Well that was great – our thanks again to Doug Sosnik for joining us. Now I’m going to turn it over Justin Allen and Julienne Uhlich, from REAL Strategies, who are going to help us with the basics of how to involve our members in the election. Remember if you have an immediate question related to the current slide, please post it in the “Chat,” but if you have a more general question, please post it in the “Q&A” and we will answer it as we can or following their presentation. Thanks! Julienne and Justin, please take it away!

11:32 a.m. – 11:52 a.m. CDT – slide presentation

11:52 a.m.- 11:57a.m. CDT – Q&A [Justin and Julienne talk about how to involve members in the election and the different mediums through which to do it. At the conclusion of their remarks, John thanks Justin and Julienne and asks staff if there are questions in the CHAT or Q&A that we need to follow up on. Then John wraps up the webinar.]

11:57 a.m. CDT

JOHN SEBREE – CLOSES WEBINAR: Thanks Justin and Julienne – that was great. And again our thanks to Doug Sosnik for joining us. And our thanks to all of you for participating today and engaging with our speakers. A few reminders before we sign off: . Please fill out the evaluation form you receive following this session. It will be sent to all pre-registrants. Your comments will guide our future programming efforts. . Mark your calendars for our next session on Friday, September 25 @ 11:00 a.m. CST, 12:00 noon Eastern Time. This session will be a little different and will involve facilitated, networking roundtables – giving you time to catch up with your peers to discuss topics of importance to you! . We can’t wait to bring you this session to share meaningful ways to run your association during this unique time. . Registration information will be on the HUB, the AEI YR FB Group, and nar.realtor (AEI Landing page). . Remember, all session recordings are available on the AEI Year-Round Virtual Sessions landing page on nar.realtor. Thanks again, stay safe, and we hope to see you in two weeks!

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